- The Washington Times - Monday, June 16, 2014

Heading into the 2014 midterm elections, one thing is clear: the approval rating for Congress is in the toilet — potentially spelling doom for more lawmakers than usual on Election Day.

A Gallup poll released Monday showed that Congress is on pace to have its lowest approval rating since 1974, the year the pollster first asked the question.

The survey found that 16 percent of adults gave the body a passing grade, compared to 35 percent in 1974, 22 percent in 1992 and 50 percent in 2002.

“In years when congressional job approval is low, there tends to be greater turnover in House membership,” said Gallup poll analyst Jeffrey M. Jones. “The prior low job approval rating in a midterm election year was 21 percent in 2010, a year in which 15 percent of House incumbents seeking re-election were defeated. In 1994, when 22 percent approved of Congress, 10 percent of incumbents lost. By comparison, just 4 percent of incumbents lost in 2002, when Congress enjoyed a 50 percent approval rating.”

Mr. Jones added, “The potential vulnerability of congressional incumbents was clear last week, when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor suffered a stunning defeat in his primary election in Virginia, losing to an underfunded GOP ‘outsider.’”

The poll was conducted June 5 to June 8 among a random sample of 1,027 adults. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.